The satellite is assumed to be "a write-off", one of the officials said. It's aiming for more this year.
The Falcon 9 booster's two stages separated a little over two minutes into the flight with the second stage carrying the mysterious Zuma to low-Earth orbit.
The private firm who made the suspected spy satellite for an unknown arm of the US government said they were unable to comment on the "classified mission".
"I don't think there's any question there's been a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation, because of the significance of this capability", said Dale Ketcham, Space Florida's chief of strategic alliances.
Zuma's payload has been a source of speculation for months, with almost no information about its contents released to the public. The launch time and window remain the same for Thursday, opening at 8:00 p.m. EST and remaining open until 10:00 p.m. EST. As it soared higher, a thinning atmosphere put less pressure on the rocket.
At just one minute before the opening of the launch window, the flight computer was ordered to begin pre-flight checks and the propellant tanks were brought up to flight pressure.
This was SpaceX's first launch of 2018. The rocket has already reached to the launch site. If a satellite isn't set free at the right time or is damaged upon release, it can be dragged back toward earth.
She said the incident will not impact two other planned SpaceX launches in the coming weeks. "We have procured the Falcon 9 launch service from SpaceX." . The successful first stage landing was complete in fewer than 8 minutes after takeoff. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket then returned for a vertical landing at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. This was followed an estimated minute and 42 seconds later by another flawless landing at LZ-1. "Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible". The takeoff had been pushed back several times since late 2017, with the past week's extreme weather on the East Coast contributing to the latest delay. About all we know is that contractor and manufacturer Northrop Grumman booked the launch on behalf of the federal government.
SpaceX plans to make the 30-mission number by flying from launch pads at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA Today said.
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